Slogan = Strategy

Slogan = Strategy

by digby

Stephen Pearlstein writes about the new GOP meme under a headline saying that "the canard" should be killed. But it's actually more than a canard:

Republicans these days can't get through a sentence without tossing in their new favorite adjective, "job-killing."

There's "job-killing legislation," in particular the health-care reform law. And "job-killing regulations," especially anything coming out of the EPA and the IRS. Big deficits are always "job-killing," which might come as something of a surprise to all you Keynesians out there, along with the "job-killing spending binge" and even "job-killing stimulus projects."

President Obama, we are told repeatedly, runs a "job-killing administration" with a "job-killing agenda" carried out by, you guessed it, a "job-killing bureaucracy."

In the fevered Republican imagination, the entire federal government is a "job-killing machine" or - my personal favorite - a "job-killing beast."

And if you're a Republican, it is now a violation of House rules to utter the word "taxes" or "tax increase" on the chamber floor without the "job-killing" prefix. (Okay, I'm exaggerating - but only slightly.)

Type "job killing" into Google and you'll get more than 1.2 million hits. On the Factiva news database, it comes up 11,115 times during 2009 and 2010, compared with 1,373 times during the previous two years. A Republican talking point, a Fox News broadcast or a Chamber of Commerce press release is now incomplete without it.

They have been pushing this for some time and it's far more than just a slogan. They telegraphed what it really is --- with a big assist from the media as you will see --- last month:

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Priority No. 1 for the Republicans is going to be an agenda for jobs and growth, and that's what they're going to try to put, I think, on the table.

BLITZER: Does that mean repealing the health-care law?

CASTELLANOS: I think the health-care law is going to be part of that, but it's not going to be, I think, what you see on day one. We don't want to fall in the same traps, I think, the Democrats did, which is they spent the year they should have been talking about the economy talking about health care. We don't want to flip that problem on its head, but...

BORGER: But they are going to...


CASTELLANOS: ... smarter than...

BORGER: They are -- they're going to call for the repeal of health care.

CASTELLANOS: Sure, they're going to call for the repeal of health care. And it's going to be a big vote.

BORGER: The job-killing health-care bill.


CASTELLANOS: And it will pass the House and it won't pass the Senate, and then there will probably be a series of test votes throughout the year, repealing the parts that you don't want to keep, keep the parts that work. Veterans, things likes that. Deductibility.

But it's really going to be who gets to keep the focus on the economy, on jobs and growth. But first, whether it's the president or John Boehner, the first one to put something on the table called a strategy for jobs and growth and how we're going to compete with China is going to win.

Their "jobs strategy", if you want to call it that, is the slogan --- call all taxes, programs and regulations "job-killers" and say they want to repeal them. The worst thing that happens is that they actually succeed in getting the president to sign on to their agenda. And either way, they blame him for an economy they are betting will remain anemic through 2012.